Sunday, August 26, 2012

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

I am currently on a much needed vacation in the paradise known as Hawaii with my adorable, patient and loving husband.  Well anywhere is paradise when your children are in the care of their grandparents the last week before school starts and you are elsewhere.

I wasn't going to blog until we got home but this story, well this is just too good not to tell.  And I was afraid that a weeks' worth of Mai tai's may erase the best details.

My husband has never been toHawaii and his only, ONLY request was to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial site and tour as much as possible.  That portion of our day was so amazing that I felt fortune was shining her effervescent light upon us.

How amazing do you ask?  So amazing, it all started with the parking spot we found at 11:15am at their busiest time RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE!!!  And no we didn't park in the reserved for survivors spots, nope, there was one smack in the middle of the first row open to the public spots.

I figured that based on that alone our evening adventure, booked weeks earlier would be nothing short of spectacular.  Well, it was pretty spectacular, but not in a good way at all.

Based on recommendations from a few folks we booked two tickets on a dinner cruise that also featured gorgeous sunset view and a pass by the Hilton in Honolulu to view their Friday night fireworks display.

It all sounded romantic, appetizers, drinks, Hawaiian grilled meats, at sunset on a boat with a view  of fireworks.  I should have known we were in for it when their uekelele player stopped playing as we set sail in order to pass out ginger pills to the passengers to "settle our stomachs".

We managed one photo of the two of us as we were leaving the harbor, and that, my friends, was the highlight of our trip at sea.

I should also mention that getting there was a complete disaster, I think Mark was going to ask for a legal separation when we realized the address on the map didn't match where out boat was.  We got to where we thought it was and asked where to park for the cruise and they said "oh that boat already left."  I think I cried a little...

Eventually we figured it out and it took us another 15 minutes to go one mile in Honolulu traffic.  I should note here that it took us over an hour to go about 6 miles.  Mark dropped me off so I could check in while he parked the car.  He received an urgent text from me to "hurry" as I saw the captain check his watch and smile at me.

No one here has change for a $50 so Mark parked and prayed we would not be ticketed, then proceeded to run about a half mile to the boat.  Thank goodness we made it.  Surely everything will be good from here?

We were directed up to the top and watched as a giant bus full of people pulled up LATE (we were so worried the boat wouldn't wait for us and we risked parking illegally to get here on time and now this big ass bus pulls up late?).  Those folks went straight into the dinner area.  This my friends, could mean the difference between getting sick and not getting sick, read on.

Fast forward to the ginger pills.  Granted the boat wasn't big and the waves were large, but even still the motion in the ocean made us all look like we were already drunk as we stumbled to get a plate of their "assorted dry appetizers" which were basically a bowl of those colorful potato chips that you can buy at any grocery store.  

Don't get me wrong they were good, but I sort of expected something more for the price we paid for our tickets.  Minutes after we set sail it was sunset time. sunset, too cloudy.  Strike one.  Alrighty then, back to the chips.  Mark stumbled to the bar to order us a drink.

I requested a bloody Mary, that would make me feel better about not seeing the sunset.  He wanted a piña colada.  As I was hungrily stuffing potato chips in my face (note: I rarely eat them so they tasted goooooood and I probably had crumbs on my face from shoving them in) Mark asks me "so what is your second choice?"  Damn, no bloody mary, ok, glass of red? No the bartender said the red was gross. Third choice? I don't have one!!!!  So I just said piña colada and sat back down.

It was a pretty good drink minus the brain freeze.  So the food and beverage guy came up and let us know there would be a second seating for dinner and our second group would go downstairs to the dining room shortly.

I think he might have forgotten to mention that to the folks who were dining already as it took a really long time for them to make their way up to the top of the boat and then they all came in one giant herd, minus a few passengers who were vomiting in the garbage cans as we walked down the stairs into the dining room.

I noticed the ukelele player trying to pass out ginger pills to the group of people who just ate.  I thought two things: 1. No wonder these people are sick, they never got the ginger pill and 2. It is a little too late, don't you think?

Nothing is more disturbing than watching a live human who you are not related to emptying the contents of their stomach involuntarily.  And I don't know about you, but I am a sympathy puker so watching these folks retch into barf bags and trash cans wasn't overly appetizing.  

I looked away, held my breath and walked into the dining room which was, save for two tables in the waaaaay back, covered in napkins, half eaten food, silverware and dirty plates.  Strike 2.  At this point I realized they probably overbooked the dinner cruise and didn't have a good plan.

We sat down and they brought us lots of food, which was really good, to tell the truth.   However about five minutes into our dinner they informed us that the fireworks display would be starting and if we wanted to watch we could leave our food and come back later.  

I wasn't worried they would clean our plates away at this point, as the rest of the dining room was still in total disarray with no signs of anyone cleaning anything up.  We wandered back to the stern and watch a display that can only be described as "meh.". I have seen better.  It was pretty but I think playing Katy Perry's "firework" while they went off overdid it bit.

As the fireworks show came to a close one of the barfing people walked right in front of us to throw her airplane grade and completely filled barf bag away in the trash can in front of us.  Gross.

We sat back down to finish our meal, and I noticed that the dining, and lower level, of the boat didn't rock nearly as bad as the top deck and soon the other 2/3 of the boat figured it out.  As we finished our dinner many of the diners returned to the cabin and were laying about the place.  These returnees were likely the ones throwing up.  Ahem. 

One Mai tai, one piña colada and several glasses of water later and I had to pee.  Unfortunately a few "guests" of the ship decided that the giant ass garbage cans were not worthy of their vomit so they barfed all over the only two bathrooms on the boat.  For 150 people.  Two toilets.  Just sayin'

As previously noted the boat rocked back and forth A LOTso you can imagine how difficult it would be to get your upchuck in the tiny little toilet hole which is now a moving target.  Strike 3.

We informed the main employee running the show and they informed us they wouldn't be able to clean the restrooms until we got back to shore.  I checked the time: 30 minutes.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to hold it that long and tried to figure out how to quietly and discreetly pee over the side of the boat.  I couldn't.  Beads of sweat began to form on my brow.

Finally someone had the good sense to clean up the ladies room so I ran in there and peed before someone could defile it again.  15 minutes later we arrived at the harbor and as we disembarked we saw many, many people laying around, sick as dogs, one woman was clutching a barf bag in a death grip while she lay passed out on a bench.  Reminded me of my old college days...

Mark and I have never been more glad to set foot on Honolulu soil than at that moment.  Our saving grace?  The parking God shined upon us twice that day and we were not ticketed for parking without paying.

This concludes my tale of that fateful trip, our two hour tour.


Abbey said...

You just lived my worst nightmare... I have sworn off boats since my honeymoon to Hawaii 9 years ago...

LatteLover said...

Oh... my... :(